City Council at Large Candidate Questions for John Demske - Democrat
There's a lot of concern from city residents about activities on Jackson and State Street. Do you consider those streets problem areas and if so, what should be done about them?
From the reports I hear from the media, it appears that that area of the city has growing drug and crime problem. Two things should happen, one is there has to be increase police presence in these areas. Increase patrols and investigations of potential drug trafficking. Second, is that law enforcement needs to develop cooperation among the neighbors in the targeted problem city areas. Without this cooperation, these problems cannot be solved.
What level of code enforcement do you favor to deal with seemingly problem properties?
Since I am not knowledgeable of the building codes that are already on the books, I would say that the current codes need to be strictly enforced. That being said, there needs to be a constant review of building codes to make sure they deal with current business and property demands.
How should garbage collection be handled in Batavia?
Since the garbage change has already taken place, we need to make sure that all property owners are being responsible about their handling of their trash disposal. Either having an arrangement with a trash contractor or taking their trash to the proper disposal areas.
What should be the city's role in economic and job development be in Batavia?
The city needs to cultivate the right business climate to encourage business projects and expansion. By doing so, this in itself will increase the jobs these businesses create. The city also needs to always improve its infrastructure that encourages business growth and enables its citizens access to these new business sites.
If the choice came down to either A) raising taxes and maintaining the city's own police department and/or fire department; or, B) consolidating police protection with the city or going to some form of volunteer fire department, which option would you choose?
This question already assumes that taxes need to be raised to maintain our current police and fire departments. Much of the increase costs involving these two departments has to do with circumstances beyond these departments control. When your retirement costs has to be made up because of the 2008 downturn, these costs present a tremendous burden on holding down taxes. My personal opinion is that it is very important to maintain our city police and fire departments to guarantee the proper public safety we need to attract business growth.
Are you satisfied with how the city is run? Are there changes you would like to make? If you were going to change one thing about how the city operates, what would it be?
For the most part I feel the city is doing a satisfactory job. I do think that some decisions were made without a proper investigation(i.e., trash collection) of the possible outcomes. While it is always city councils responsibility to make decisions about existing problems, it needs to make sure that all investigations take place before finalizing council recommendations.
Why have you decided to run for City Council and why should people vote for you?
Since I moved here in 2006 (former Genesee County NH Administrator), my wife and I have really adopted Batavia as our home. We enjoy the walkability and closeness of businesses in this city. Since I retired, I would like to give back to the community with my time and experience dealing with government operations(24 years with 5 county governments). I believe that I have the people skills necessary to bring the cooperation needed to make informed and common sense decisions. I would hope that people can trust me to do the right thing as councilman at large for the city of Batavia.
"When your retirement costs has to be made up because of the 2008 downturn, these costs present a tremendous burden on holding down taxes"...
Daaaaaaaaaaaa... the 2008 downturn was actually a forerunner to a bigger financial collapse that's coming. Because of public employees salaries and PENSIONS that are too GD high to begin with... and unsustainable... and because of people like you who will continue to add to our bankruptcy until the system finally collapses, by supporting the madness.
"it is very important to maintain our city police and fire departments"
??? A police force of 35-40 officers for a community of less than 16000 people???
Candidate Demske could you provide for me [for everyone actually] what the total cost to the City of Batavia is for the Fire Dept? Then provide for us the log of actual serious situations the Dept responds to on average in a years time?